Working with the Map of Early Modern London

When working on the Map of Early Modern London (MoeML), keep an open mind and look for creative solutions. Research into primary texts, attempting to uncover an earlier point of view, is quite different from researching what others have said about a place or piece since it entered the realm of culture. Here are a few resources to help you one your way:

Map of Early Modern London: The people working on the Map have already gathered a large number of resources. Use the bibliographies and digitized texts. Delve into the articles already published and see where else your site has been mentioned on MoeML. Intricate style guides are located under the “About” tab, and you can learn a lot about the writing style employed by MoeMl as well as what kind of content to look for when you read the articles on the site already.

Libraries: If you are working through an institution, you likely have access to large physical libraries and even larger digital libraries. While you may not be able to find many primary texts, you might come across a Victorian era book available to check out or even read online. Your library will also give you access to vast amounts of online materials; they will possibly have primary texts on your site, and they will definitely give you access to critical articles that can point you to helpful primary texts and give you an deeper understanding of how early modern people thought about particular sites. Critical articles are especially useful for famous sites with large amounts of primary texts. University Libraries also give you access to databases like the Early English Books Online
(EEBO) where you can find scans and searchable transcriptions of a large number of early modern texts.

Google Books: Through Google Books, you can gain access to resources from a number of notable libraries, including Oxford’s Bodleian and the New York Public Library . Google has partnered with a number of book collections to digitize and publish texts from as far back as the 1400s. These texts are not always easy to read, but Google’s search engine is fairly reliable, and you will be able to search the texts for key words. I would also suggest using the search tools function to limit your search to specific dates. Limiting the date can help you locate specific texts or access a range of primary sources from a specific time.

Project Gutenberg: If you cannot access the full texts you need through your library, through Google, or through MoeML, Project Gutenberg can be a great resource. Although this scholarly project does not contain scans or images of the original pages, it does provide accurate transcriptions of primary sources.

Encyclopedias and Surveys: If you are able to find a large amount of text pertaining to your site, encyclopedias and surveys can be invaluable for helping you determine what to add and what to leave out of your article. They also tell you how people understood your site at the time the reference work was published. On the other hand, if you do not find enough about your site, an encyclopedia or survey may be able to point you to primary texts and other resources that can help flesh out the entry. John Stow’s Survey of London has been particularly useful to our class. Because the Map of Early Modern London is a digital encyclopedia itself, encyclopedia articles on your site can also help you develop your writing style.

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